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Thread: Think I made a mistake this winter

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    Exclamation Think I made a mistake this winter

    Hello everyone, I am a first time pool owner. This is our first winter with out pool (details in sig line). We live with a row of 80+ ft live oaks and a few cedar trees about 60ft or so away from the pool. A good chunk of our neighbors have pools (11 pools, 20 homes) and most have trees around them, only two of them have covers and one only has one because it came with pool when he bought the home. We decided to leave a cover off our pool and I would just deal with leaves as they came. Left the pool open all winter.

    Here is a general timeline of what happened and outcome.
    1) Pool pump was left under normal timer runs until the water temp dropped to 60 degrees. Water chem was checked and balanced until water hit 60 as well. I was told by several owners as well as local pool builder once water is that cold the SWG wont work well and I wont need it.

    2) At that point we turned off the SWG and pump only ran 2 hrs at noon and 2 hrs at midnight at a fairly high speed to skim off leaves and circulate the water for the pump.

    3) Had a much harsher and windier winter than past years and had a LOT of leaves to deal with. I went after them multiple times a day and still had trouble keeping up. A lot sank before I could get to them.

    4) About a month or so ago I noticed there was a lot of really fine silt covering the bottom of the pool. I also saw what I thought was mold growing along the walls and any little depressions in the liner or along seams. I started brushing the pool and running the pump manually for 3 hour cleaning cycles at a pretty high speed.

    5) Present day - still lots of fine silt but not as bad. The green/yellow stuff I believe is algae. Its still there and still growing in the same spots. If I brush it is just goes up in a cloud only to return a couple days later. Water is still around 60.

    I have not checked chemistry yet, I need to do that ASAP. I just noticed this was getting worse a day or so ago when it got really warm out.

    So what do I do? I want to get the green/yellow stuff in check and I want to get rid of this silt. I vacuumed several times to waste and I have been backwashing more often. I even added some of the cellulose fiber to the filter but that didnt go well, I added only two cups worth and the pump stopped flowing about 45 minutes later! Pump was running but I had almost no water coming out the returns. I immediately backwashed and all returned to normal.

    I am guessing for the algae I need to "SLAM" it. I do not have a DPD test kit. I do have a nice Taylor kit but it isnt the DPD for chlorine levels so it doesnt go as high as required to read. Do I need to go buy a DPD kit? This one wasnt cheap and I still have a lot of chemical left for testing.

    If that takes care of the algae, can I SLAM now while the water is still cold? Any effect on chlorine levels while cold?

    How to get rid of this fine silt? I am guessing its all from the leaves and all the wind we have had (we had construction going on across the street).

    Thanks for any help. Wife isnt happy with me right now! She told me if we had bought the solid cover we wouldnt be dealing with this. I was trying to save a few thousand dollars after shelling out all the pool build money.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Sounds like you were off on the right track, but after the SWG was turned off you needed to continue to test the chemistry and add bleach as required. Likely the silt is dead algae and it is going to continue to show up until you kill all of it in the pool.

    You are correct that you need to follow the SLAM Process and to do that you need the FAS-DPD chlorine test (NOTE: This is NOT the DPD chlorine test) as you surmised. Luckily you can order the FAS-DPD test separately and then likely have the equivalent to one of the recommended test kits: http://tftestkits.net/FAS-DPD-Chlori...-test-p47.html ... you may want some extra reagents as well.

    You can certainly SLAM it now and it should be easier with the colder water.

    Forget the fiber stuff until you are almost done with the SLAM. Like I said it may be algae.

    I think your only mistake was stopping the monitoring of you FC over the winter. Had you done that, likely the algae would never have started.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Thanks Jason - I will just order the Taylor 2006 kit from Amazon or use my Leslie's coupon and get one locally (if they have it). The shipping costs are pretty high on that site ($15 for the recommended UPS Ground). I cant see paying over half the price of the kit on shipping...

    Once I get that kit I will SLAM it.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    They ship out of NC, so I am surprised the shipping was that high? Beware though, the K-2006 does not come with very much of the reagent for the FAS-DPD test, so you will likely run out and need more. You should be able to find just the FAS-DPD test/reagent on Amazon if you want to go that route.

    See this for a comparison and why we recommend the TF-100: Recommended Test Kits

    It is very doubtful you will find the K-2006 locally either and they may not even know what the FAS-DPD test is.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    I just ordered the Taylor 1515 FAS-DPD stand alone kit. It was only $20 shipped for the base kit. If I run out of reagent Amazon sells the big jugs of it. The place I ordered was out of SC so I should get it in a day or two. I have the Taylor 2005 kit right now so I can keep using that for other tests.

    I am surprised if they are in NC that shipping was so high. I checked twice on the TF-50, 100 and that small kit you linked. UPS was $15-$14. I dont know if they are heavy or large boxes (cant see either) but I ship UPS daily for work and a small package should only be half that going one state over.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Well, bring it up with Dave who owns this forum and tftestkits I am sure part of it is handling.

    Although I just looked at the FAS-DPD with Priority shipping was only $8 to AZ ... so it would not have been more to you.
    And the TF-100 was about $16 via UPS

    As the website says, for single item refills, USPS is cheaper.

    And you will not find better customer service than Dave and Meg from anywhere.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Oops. I did not realize that was this site owners store. I greatly appreciate this site and the knowledge passed on. Too late at this point, I ordered that kit from a "local" store I found online with good reviews for only $20 shipped.

    I was using UPS only. USPS is not making me happy lately. In fact right now I have a USPS Priority 2 day delivery that was supposed to be delivered several days ago and its still showing a few states away with no updates. USPS site is still saying it should be delivered on the 8th! Called my local PO and he told me "just be patient, I am sure it will show up eventually". No wonder they are going bankrupt.

    The TF-100 was $15.85 shipped UPS to me, so same price to me or AZ. Not sure how that is calculated on their site. Depending on how this goes I will probably end up with the TF-100. My wife calls me anal about the pool, I want a clean and sparkling pool! She doesnt want anything to do with it even though she is the one that pushed for it for a couple of years.

    I should have the kit in a couple days. I will get water test numbers, use the chart on the SLAM page and the Mustard Algae page and then have at it. I am still not sure if its regular algae or the mustard variety. I plan to shock at the mustard level just to make sure and sanitize all my equipment, pull the light, etc. I have a couple months until the pool is ready to swim anyway so figured it cant hurt to really shock it right now. If I am wrong, please correct me!

    Thanks again for the tips.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    No problem about ordering the kit where you did. Many people do not know and it is not really advertised.

    Sounds like the kit you will have is the same as the K2006, so might get you through the season this year.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Just tested pool. Not good, need recommendation on where to start or if I can just SLAM it as is.

    CYA - 0!
    FC - 0!
    TA - 50
    PH - 8+ (chart only shows up to 8.0)

    Did the CYA test and filled the tube to the top, I could still see the black dot. Did the FC test and it never turned color (did it twice). TA was definitely 50, PH was off chart, it was just bright pink.

    So I know I messed up. With my CYA at 0, the Mustard Shock chart on here shows I only need to get the FC to just 1.5. That should be easy enough, but is that right? That is barely 2 cups of bleach for my entire pool! Do I need to get the CYA up a little first?

    Once I get the pool shocked I need to get the PH down and TA up. I have plenty of Baking Soda but no acid right now. I also have plenty of Borax.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Did you test the CC?

    You need to lower the pH in the low 7s.
    Get at least 20-30ppm of CYA dissolving in the water.
    Then SLAM the pool (ignore Mustard level) and assume your CYA is at your target since it may not show up on the test for a week.

    You may never need the baking soda or borax.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Good news. SLAMing the pool worked great. I did as you suggested and added enough CYA to get it around 20 and then added enough bleach the day after to raise the FC to 9.0 (using my new FAS-DPD kit, works great). Kept it at 9.0 for two days with the pump running 24hrs and the pool looks great. I brushed the pool twice a day as well to keep it all agitated and circulating.

    Its still at 8.0 right now and the pump is running 24hrs at a lower speed. PH came down with all the CYA so pool is good for the most part - BUT, I still have that fine silt/dirt from all those leaves. I think some was algae but the rest is definitely a fine silt/dirt mixture. This red clay makes a very fine dust when dried out.

    Any tips on getting the rest of that out? I hate to keep vacuuming to waste as I dont want to lose that much water especially now that its balanced out. Anything I can add to the filter or water to help it out? Sand filter was backwashed well before I started the SLAM. Sand is a year old so should be OK.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Nice work

    Well, you could just vacuum into the filter instead of to waste. Or maybe try putting some DE in your filter: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...-a-sand-filter

    BTW, sand never goes bad.

    And you should only need to backwash when the pressure rises 20-25% over the clean pressure.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    In pool School there is a section on adding DE powder to your sand filter. Be careful with this, as it will require more frequent backwashes, as well as re-adding the DE after every backwash. With that said, most who have done it have reported good results.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Is DE that much better than the "safer" additives like cellulose? I dont mind using either but with three little ones around I try and keep any bad stuff away. All my pool chemicals are already locked away, just hate to add to them if I can avoid it.

    Does clarifier work well? The thick stuff that is supposed to coagulate the silt? I only used it once and think I used it wrong.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    I'd stay away from using clarifier, usual results are not good.

    The DE is safe enough, you shouldn't be having to breathe the dust from it if you follow the recommended method for use. You won't be needing to add much at any given time, just enough to bring your pressure up 1 - 2 lbs on the filter gauge. All it is used for is to trap the super fine silt particles, finer than the sand filter normally would.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Thanks Charlie. I have a coupon to use up at Leslies so will pick up a small bag of it this weekend. My kids cant wait to get in the pool, the water is still around 60!
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    My kids wanted to go swimming a few weeks ago ... wife said go right ahead. I think they made it from one end to the other and climbed out and were done ... I think it was in the upper 60s
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Swimming in cold water is still miles better than being told they can't go swimming at all
    Cedar hot tub, 680 US gallons - Snorkel wood-burning heater, canoe paddle, "offline" Intex 1000 GPH pump/filter with skimmer

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    That's right ... let them make up their own mind if it was a good idea or if they should have listened/trusted us

    They still have fun for a few minutes
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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  20. Back To Top    #20

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    Re: Think I made a mistake this winter

    Added some DE over the weekend. Kept messing up and adding too much. Pressure gauge wouldnt move and then an hour later the returns were not flowing at all! Kept backwashing and starting over. I am down to around 5 ounces by volume and that is still restricting flow quite a bit when my pump is spinning at 2000RPM which normally pretty strong.

    That is the bad news. Good news is that nearly all silt is gone! I keep brushing at least once a day and the pool looks great. Cant wait till it warms up.

    Smallest bag of DE I could find locally was 25#. It was cheap enough but using 5 ounces at a time will keep me supplied indefinitely. I know you can use DE in gardens but its a different variety, I may still check to see if my wife can use some of it.
    Completed 7/3/13 - 26000gal, IG 20x40 "sport", Vinyl, SWG - Aqua Rite w/ T-15 cell, Ecostar Pump, Hayward sand filter, dual skimmers and 3 returns, 2" pipe

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